Despite the Australian government’s pride over its Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock (ASEL) , a new investigation released by Animals Australia exposes the brutality behind live animal export from Australia. The footage reveals the inhumane conditions under which five Australian shipments exported over 300.000 sheep to the Middle East (between May and October 2017). The images show severely sick and injured animals covered in faeces, suffering from extreme heat stress due to the high temperature and overcrowded conditions without any access to food and water. Nothing remains of the Australian Livestock Exporters Council’s (ALEC) commitment to spare animals from fear and pain .
This investigation clearly shows that Australian exporters and shipboard conditions are breaching the international standards of the OIE (World Organisation for Animal Health), the ASEL as well as the Western Australian Animal Welfare Act.
It was thanks to a navigation officer, concerned by the suffering he witnessed that the general public and the decision-makers can see how Australian transporters and competent authorities conduct their business in disregard of OIE efforts to protect the welfare and health of animals transported alive world-wide.
“Alarmingly this is a global issue and for many years we have being seeing also EU animals transported under the same terrible conditions  – said Reineke Hameleers, Director at Eurogroup for Animals. Despite the EU’s global reputation as a leader for animal welfare standards, the conditions of animals transported alive within and from Europe are far from being acceptable. This is why Eurogroup for Animals is calling for an EU strategy to replace long distance live animal transport by the trade of carcasses and meat only”.
The EU Institutions and the Governments have the political and moral obligation to support the work of the OIE and to make this trade in line with all applicable legal requirements as well as global animal welfare standards. Currently the number of animals transported alive across the world is dramatically increasing, and so is the number of animals suffering and dying during these journeys.
Conscious of this reality, key Members of the European Parliament, supported by over 1 million citizens, have recently called for a Parliamentary Inquiry to look into potential maladministration in this trade. Such an inquiry would not only contribute to better protecting the animals traded alive within and from the EU, but it would also help to effectively tackle existing problems and safeguard the EU from animal welfare scandals similar to the one faced by Australia today.
Francesca Porta – Farm Animals Programme Officer
 The Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock represent the basic animal health and welfare requirements for the conduct of the livestock export industry, which the Australian Government expects the industry to meet.
 The Australian Livestock Exporters’ Council (ALEC) is a member-based, peak industry body representing Australia’s livestock export sector. ALEC’s mission is to lead the development and growth of Australia’s livestock export trade through continuous improvements to the trade’s business and market environments, promoting professional and welfare excellence throughout the supply chain, and securing our standing with the Australian public and our customers.
 ©Karremann. Link to the documentary (DE)